Excuse me while I ramble.
There is this deep ache in me. I long for true fellowship with like-minded believers. In my prayers, I cry out, "How long, Father?"
Have you ever begged the Holy Spirit to move in your church day after day, only to feel like there is a dry well? Have you ever been in a church and wondered if the lampstand has been removed?
I used to think it was just me. I know at times it has been. But when others come to the same conclusion, when others leave feeling empty, when someone I trust tells me I should be concerned... well..........
There's this knot in my stomach, this lump in my throat. I am so tired of false doctrine. I am so tired of scripture twisting. I am so tired of man trying to manipulate the church as to bring in more people rather than simply boldly preaching the Word and allowing God to build the church as He pleases.
Why are men more concerned about the numbers filling their seats than the souls?
Where are the people, living in unity, reaching out in unity, being the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus? How can one claim to be saved yet have no evidence of it? How can one preach that one can be saved and refuse to be a disciple of Christ?
I disagree! If we are saved, then we are no longer slaves to sin but willing slaves to Christ. Under His control, under His discipleship. How can we be in Christ and living Christless lives?
This message stings my ears, pains my heart, and makes me want to run out the door.
But I sit there.
I want to scream, but I sit there.
Because I am not sure what to do. If I say something, I am called a legalist. But, isn't faith without works dead? Is discipleship really optional? I realize my works do not earn my salvation- it is a gift- but if I love God- if I am truly in Christ- should not my life be submitted to Him? Is submission to His will optional?
If one truly feels that way, can they truly be saved?
All these questions swirling in my mind. I pour over God's word, and I am sure of my beliefs. Oh Holy Spirit, give me strength. I seek truth. I'm tired of lies. Tired of people trying to fool me with fancy words, holding their titles over me.
I have learned to find my answers in His Word. He will not lie. He will not contradict Himself. Jesus doesn't mince words. Sometimes His words are hard to swallow... but they always bring me guidance.
I will not sacrifice Truth. I have seen it twisted, seen it added to and taken from. I have seen it bent out of context. I have seen this my entire life, and I'm sure it will not end until the day Christ comes in all His glory.
I am told to ask, and it will be given. Seek, and I will find. Knock, and it will be opened for me. Why? The Lord is full of mercy and grace. He does not want to withhold His Truth from me!
I will not settle for anything less than Jesus.
Oh, Father, give me strength to fight, to stand, and to keep standing.